PIC development / experimental unit

PIC development unit

There are a number of PIC development or prototyping kits available to help make PIC circuits. Many consist of a small circuit board (to take a range of PICs), a 5V power supply, an RS232 or usb connection for programming and breadboard for circuit development around the PIC. I have two of these which I make use of. This particular device was made to act as a half-way stage between the breadboard type proto system and a final completed project. It has a 40 pin 16F877 PIC which can be programmed via a bootloader through an RS232 connection to the computer. It also has a spare RS232 for serial experiments, an DAC and meter, Compact Flash (CF) card socket, and various o/p sockets so that a wide range of circuiits and systems can be developed. This set-up makes it very simple to develop more complex systems.

Projects developed included: i) a neuron experiment for the Brighton Science Festival (with 8 and 16 independant switch inputs for class participants) as well as controlling lamps, buzzers and providing audio and visual feedback, ii) geiger counter logger system, iii) galvanometer challange, iv) GPS reciever (for Parallax GPS module) as well as many smaller projects and exercises to learn about the PIC and programming etc.

From bottom left (clockwise around the unit):
RS232 connection (additional to the one used for the bootloader)
4 phono (RCA) sockets to make connections in and out of the unit (one shown as an analogue o/p from the DAC)
4 way o/p socket for control, 9V DC input power from SMP
SP2 keyboard input
RS232 bootloader input (just under LCD display)
pot to set the LCD contrast
toggle switch for LCD screen light
4 line LCD display with 4 push switchs around it so that menus can be created and functions set-up
40 pin 16F877 PIC circuit board (bottom right)
0 - 2.5V meter showing the o/p of the DAC (0 = 0V, 255 = 2.5V)
CF card socket (not wired up in this photo)
the left hand pcb is the digital to analogue converter (DAC)
small pcb top left: 5V regulator from the 9V input from the power supply
small horizontal circuit board is a bus bar for 0, 5V and 9V supplies.

PIC development unit

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Dr Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex. BN1 9QJ

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